Government set to make changes to UK copyright legislation

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On 20 December 2012 the government published its final response to the Copyright Consultation following the recommendations made in the Hargreaves Review. What changes can we expect and what has been the reaction to the proposals?

In its response, the Government state that the current copyright legislation appears to hinder the reasonable use of copyright protected works and is outdated in the digital age. The Government therefore intends to change the current system to allow certain ‘permitted acts’ in respect of copyright protected works.

Few people are aware that under the current system it is illegal to download a legally-purchased CD onto a laptop, smartphone or MP3 player. These acts of format shifting will now be allowed under the UK’s first private copying defence. Consumers will be permitted to copy content they have purchased onto any medium or device that they own, as long as it is strictly for their own personal use (such as transferring their music collection from CD to iPod). The defence will not extend to sharing copies with others but will allow consumers to copy material to and from private online cloud storage. Cloud services which provide functionality other than storage (such as music streaming) will not be able to benefit from the private copying defence and will continue to require relevant licences from rights holders…

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